Art by Amelia Giller
Most of us are struggling to remember what day it, is so it's easy to forget that today is Earth Day! You might have missed the memo because our home city is the epicenter of a terrifying global pandemic, and so much about our lives has been disrupted. But today, we’re coming to you with a little bit of optimism, and a lot of new tips for practicing social justice while social distancing. This week, we’re doing a deep dive on what the coronavirus can teach us about the looming danger of climate change.
For better and for worse, the COVID-19 crisis is making us all re-evaluate our day-to-day habits, from how we shop for food to how we get around. Some of these changes to our way of life have inadvertently impacted the environment—eg, a global dip in greenhouse gas emissions and noticeable decreases in air pollution. This by no means makes up for the massive amount of harm the coronavirus has done to the world, our city, and particularly vulnerable communities. But it does provide us with an opportunity to catapult ourselves into truly progressive new environmental practices and policies. City or forest, insect or mammal—we are tied to one ecosystem. Our collective actions can have a massive impact, up and down the food chain.
Sustainable habits matter. Experts say that greenhouse gas emissions are likely to bounce back following this crisis. As we work together to rebuild our city in the coming months and years, let’s make sure we build a better one. We’re learning firsthand what it’s like to live through a global catastrophe that could have been prevented, and this pandemic has shed a bright light on the grave disparities in our systems: in times of crisis, the rich will escape and the people left to bear the brunt are overwhelmingly people of color, womxn, and the working class. COVID-19 has already caused unimaginable tragedy but we can and MUST prevent the next crisis: climate change.
Lots of small changes can lead to big change.
—Do an inventory of your day-to-day habits and notice how they
have or haven’t changed since quarantine. If some of your habits have become more sustainable, make commitments to maintaining them after quarantine.
—Shop sustainably. NYC is home to some dope thrift stores, local + zero-waste groceries, and farmers markets. Check if your local farmers market is currently operating, then keep shopping!
—Think you already know a lot about solving global warming? Take this quiz to test your knowledge and become more informed about different sustainable solutions.